Monday, January 28, 2013

Our Friend Sandi

On Saturday evening, we enjoyed a special outing to Cincinnati with our friends Daryl and Ruthann. You remember that Ruthann is recovering from surgery, and will be starting chemotherapy soon. It was a blessing that she was feeling well enough to go, and we had a great time.

We had dinner at the Grand Finale. Located in an 1895 structure in Glendale, the restaurant has been in business on this corner for over 30 years.

We ate in a room overlooking the snow covered courtyard. Our table had a little heater in the wall beside us that we could turn on and off as needed to take the chill off.

We all enjoyed tasty steak and great conversation.

Daryl and Ruthann at the restaurant.

Dinner was followed by the main event, a concert by our friend Sandi Patty. It was at the Springdale Nazarene Church, and we shared an amazing evening of music and worship.

The crowd was warmed up by the choir and orchestra from SNC. They were wonderful, and stayed on stage to sing with Sandi and friends during the evening.

I even managed a not-too-terrible selfie of Jim and me.

Sandi was great, as usual. She even dressed in my favorite colors. So considerate of her.

My phone photos aren't great, but can you see her shoes? Shoes are kind of her thing, and these were amazing, with probably 6 inch heels. I don't know how she can walk in those things. But she can. Walk and sing. Oh my, can she sing! She started off with some of the 'oldies', and mentioned that if we know these songs, we might be old. :) We did know them, and yes, we're old. We go way back with Sandi.

She was joined on stage by Larnelle Harris.

He is originally from Louisville, so he had several of his family members in the audience.

Wayne Watson also performed with them. He is a singer/songwriter, and shared a new song he wrote around the time of the election in November. It's called Heal Our Land, and is available on iTunes. You really should take a few minutes to give it a listen. So powerful.

Wayne and Sandi also sang their duet, one of my favorites, Another Time, Another Place.

Ruthann wrote a great post about our evening on her Caring Bridge site, giving some of the background of our 'relationship' with 'our friend' Sandi. We have always felt a connection to her through her music, but also because she was a young mom at the same time we were, doing our best to raise our kids and share the love of God. (It just happens that she sings a little better than we do. Otherwise, we're practically the same.) Her Friendship Company cassette (remember those?) lived in our van back in the day, as we sang our way to soccer, swimming, and school activities. Check out Ruthann's post to read about the time we invited Sandi to have lunch with us. :)
It was a great evening, and just what we needed, even if it kept us out waaaayyy past our bedtime. :)
We were blessed by the music, the worship, and time spent with good friends.
I love the lyrics from this Chris Tomlin song, that the SNC church choir led us in singing before the show:
Our God is greater, our God is stronger
God you are higher than any other
Our God is Healer, awesome and power
Our God, Our God.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

The Handwriting's on the Hodgepodge

Welcome once again to the Wednesday Hodgepodge. It's hosted by Joyce, and she would love to have you click the button and take a look at her answers to the great questions she comes up with each week.

My week is off to a busy start, and I'm happy to be able to get a few minutes to share my answers with my readers. All 5 or 6 of you. :)

1. The popular saying, 'All is fair in love and war' is originally credited to English writer John Lyly.  Is he right? 
Well, I have never personally been in war, so I'm not sure I can speak to fairness in that arena. In love however, I think 'all is fair' as long as we treat others with respect, remembering to 'do unto others as you would have others do unto you.' It really is a good rule.

2. Are you a cereal eater?  What's your favorite kind?
I'm not a breakfast eater, but I do eat cereal every once in a while. My current favorite is Special K Red Berries.

3. A five year old in Pennsylvania was recently given a ten day school suspension for talking with a friend about shooting one another with a Hello Kitty Bubble gun (the gun blows bubbles).  She did not have the gun with her at school.

A psychological evaluation was also ordered and the incident was recorded on her permanent record.  The suspension was later reduced to two days and her parents are suing to have the incident removed from her file. Your thoughts?  (If you missed the story click here for details). 
I understand that schools must take threats seriously in these crazy times in which we live. But she's five. And it's a bubble gun. A toy. Made for shooting. Bubbles. In our effort to thwart danger we shouldn't leave our common sense at home. That being said, I wasn't there, and did not see nor hear the conversation between the two children, but I can't help but think that a suspension and psychological evaluation might have been just a little bit of an overreaction. And I can't think the incident was serious enough to include on a permanent record. She is five.

4. Whatever happened to_____________________________?
These days, when someone wonders 'what ever happened to_____?' it takes but a few seconds on the phone or computer to look it up and find out exactly what did happen to the person in question. When I read Joyce's questions, I often like to answer with the first thing that comes to my mind. In this case, for whatever reason, I thought of Captain Kangaroo. I loved that show. Bunny Rabbit, Dancing Bear, Grandfather Clock, and poor Mr. Moose, who always ended up with a shower of ping pong balls falling on him. 

5.  January 23rd is National Handwriting Day, billed as a day to reacquaint yourself with a pen and pencil.  Do you like your handwriting? Do you prefer to print or write in cursive?  This date was chosen because its the birth date of John Hancock. What's the last thing you signed your name to? 
I do like my handwriting. I remember being so excited to learn to write in cursive, and I have enjoyed it ever since. I am left handed, and while I hear many folks use that as an excuse for poor handwriting, I'm not sure I can agree with that reasoning. I know at least a couple of lefties who manage the task rather well.  :) I also learned to print like a teacher by watching my mother. It comes in handy not only for teaching, but also for making posters, writing on the chalkboard, and labeling children's belongings. The last thing I signed my name to were the birthday cards for our grandchildren.

 6. Speaking of John Hancock...ever been to Philadelphia? Do you have any desire to visit the city of Brotherly Love? 
My last trip to Philadelphia (besides a stop at the airport) was in 1991 to see my best friend's brand new baby. That baby is 21 now. How does that happen? That's Jennifer holding baby Megan, my goddaughter.

We did do a little sightseeing while we were, and made a stop at the Liberty Bell. I always enjoy learning about the history of our country on location. I would be glad to go back to Philly with a little more time to explore the city.

7.  Share something funny you've heard a child say.  
Well, as they say, "Kids say the darndest things." (Anyone remember that?) I have heard children say lots of funny things. Hang around with kids, and you're sure to get a chuckle. One I remember well was one of my mom's preschool children reciting the nursery rhyme: 
"Mistress Mary, quite contrary, how does you garden grow? With silver bells and taco shells..." 
And actually, I might prefer that version. I never was sure what cockle shells were anyway.

8.  Insert your own random thought here.
Our friend Ruthann (in the blue) will be starting chemotherapy soon. She had a great idea to have a 'Strong Women Party' to surround herself with the strength of her women friends as she begins this fight. We got together this week (sorry for not remembering to take a photo before Pam left) to plan, which included much laughter and the sharing of memories, as is always the case when we are together. We would be most grateful for your prayers. Friends don't let friends fight cancer alone.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Pigskins and Princesses

We celebrated birthdays over the weekend. Sunday was Haleigh's birthday, and she shared the party with Matthew, whose big day is coming up in February. There were awesome cupcakes, made by Darci, following the football and Cinderella themes of choice.

And equally awesome cookies by Darci as well.

Arden was busy taking a picture of me taking a picture of her. :)

Harper is looking especially handsome in his new glasses.

He cooperated well when I asked him to smile.

Even while eating his corn. Yum!

Ella was ready to eat.

And even uses a spoon all by herself.

Harper, Haleigh, Emmy, and Shayne around the table.

And Matthew, almost nine years old!

Being silly with Aunt Shylah.

Shayne and Ella took a little break after lunch and before dessert.

Sharin' a little lovin'.

Meanwhile, Hay did a little reading.

Time for birthday cupcakes!


and Haleigh.

Haleigh watches as her mommy lights the candles.

So much fun to be three years old!

Happy birthday, dear Haleigh,

Happy birthday to you!

Matthew is more subdued during the singing. After all, this is the ninth time he's done this. :)

Happy birthday dear Matthew!

Shayne enjoyed her cupcake. At least a taste of the icing.

Haleigh digs in.


And Ella.

Little cutie.

Arden had a hard time understanding why there weren't presents for her. Fortunately, her birthday is next!

Haleigh liked her name puzzle from Nana.

And she and Ella played with her new dollhouse.

Matthew beat me in our first match of his new game Suspend.

David was wearing Shylah's scarf while checking his iPhone.

And the other boys were playing a game of 'who is taller.' Maybe Jon is getting taller as he gets thinner.

It was a great party, and as the guests headed for home, and the girls (and Grandpa) headed for nap time, Matthew and I worked on his new battleship. And time marches on...